NJ Upholds Ruling: PAs Cannot Perform EMG
On January 18, 2012, the Supreme Court of New Jersey affirmed the earlier decision of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court that precludes physician assistants (PAs) from performing needle EMG. The Court held that the New Jersey statute limits the right to perform needle EMG to only those licensed to practice “medicine and surgery.” This category does not include PAs, who “do not qualify for, nor do they receive a plenary license to practice medicine.”
The Court also rejected the argument that PAs should be allowed to perform needle EMG based on their authority to assist a physician. The ability to “assist” should not be considered synonymous with “perform in place of” the Court noted, as such interpretation would expand PA scope of practice beyond what the legislature intended it to be.
The AANEM thanks state liaison, Alexander Pendino, MD, for monitoring the case and working with AANEM staff to keep our members informed. “As the NJ state liaison for the AANEM, I am pleased with this court decision as it confirms the important principle that EMG and electrodiagnostic medicine are the practice of medicine. This decision is in the best interest of our patients,” noted Pendino.
If you have any questions about this case or other scope of practice issues, please contact the AANEM Policy Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case: Selective Insurance Co. of America v. Arthur C. Rothman, M.D., Supreme Court of New Jersey, Docket # A-60-10